A crowd of hundreds in Rochester, and again in Rochester Hills, paid tribute under a hot, sunny sky on Monday morning to military heroes who have "all been trained to do the unthinkable."
Between a short ceremony at and another one at , a parade carried veterans, scouts, a marching band and elected officials through the streets of Rochester and Rochester Hills as onlookers cheered and waved.
The annual ceremonies and parade are organized by John and Mary Modetz and Terri Williams. This year, veteran Eugene Raffin of Rochester Hills served as Grand Marshal. In an address that followed a military flyover at Veterans Memorial Pointe, Raffin urged listeners to be supportive and appreciative of his fellow officers.
"I'd like to ask a small favor of all of you," Raffin said. "When you are out and about in your busy lives and you see someone in uniform, say 'thank-you.'
"Although they've all been trained to do the unthinkable, they do have a gentle side and a simple thank-you will tell them how much you appreciate what they are doing for all of us."
Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett and Rochester Mayor Stuart Bikson also addressed the crowds.
A Wall of Honor that includes photo tributes of fallen heroes across Michigan was on display at the Rochester Hills park. The wall was created by , which has a on Rochester Road.
For more Rochester-area Memorial Day coverage: